Learning how to be pleasantly surprised
By the generosity of the many who have donated to my laptop fund. More to come on the whos and the thank yous as Marek does his tremendous volunteer job of tracking the laptop drive. My family and I are completely blown away by the kindness of the people who live in here/out here.
I've already catastrophized ahead, thinking of all the ways I could let everyone down: what if I get a new laptop and I can't write anymore, or what if I lose my mind and am committed and can't keep blogging, or what if I get a serious illness and don't have the energy to keep on, or what if we can't pull this two-independent-business-people household off and have to get an all consuming (read non-telecommuting) day job, and what if... what if... many worse things I'd be embarrassed to tell you.
I have fought my whole life to never be surprised. It is my biggest weapon of self defense--that hyper-anticipation of the pessimistic variety--just to protect myself from the ultimate surprise of loss. The one that knocks my knees out from under me every time.
My friend plans a surprise visit--or worse yet throw me a surprise birthday party--and rather than be delighted, I'm mostly in shock. I have no sense of balance, no frame of reference, as to how to handle delightful surprises.
It is obvious where this comes from. This is one I figured out a long time ago.
Recognition is another double-edge sword. It leaves me feeling somehow undeserving, and I'm just beginning to sort through that. How have I managed to be a behind-the-scenes star my entire life, and what might be different if I had dared--if I had been able to--step out front. Hit the spotlight.
Blogging has given me a taste of what that might be like. People know a lot about me AND they still like my work. Some even like me. I don't stammer here or look for the right words; they just come. And if I don't get it right, I don't melt down.
Where am I going with this? I'm not sure. Sharing bits of neuroticism and the trauma that nurtured them, here and there as I go, as I figure it out.
I think that wounded people come here, to the blogspace, to work these things out in an environment that is safer than most. What makes it safer than most is that other wounded people are here reading what you say. Because if they weren't hurting, they'd be bored by now. For me at least, I am compelled to hang with you, to give in to that overwhelming urge that keeps us connecting here, keeps us reading and writing eachother healthy.
David Weinberger wrote that we are writing ourselves into existance. I don't think he thought of childhood trauma and the loss of self when he wrote that. But it has profound meaning if you view blogging through the lens of "self."